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25

Ghost Stories

1
terms
2
notes

Lennard, N. (2019). Ghost Stories. In Lennard, N. Being Numerous: Essays on Non-Fascist Life. Verso, pp. 25-34

(common Althusserian term) the process by which ideology, embodied in major social and political institutions (ideological & repressive state apparatuses), constitutes the very nature of individual subjects' identities through the process of "hailing" them in social interactions

27

the ghost hardly stands alone in the set of beings interpellated through gender

—p.27 by Natasha Lennard
notable
11 months, 3 weeks ago

the ghost hardly stands alone in the set of beings interpellated through gender

—p.27 by Natasha Lennard
notable
11 months, 3 weeks ago
30

In my web of belief, my bathroom ghost sits somewhere liminal; he’s not part of how I typically navigate the world, which requires constant banal prediction. That it remains there, however, is ethically important. Your ghosts, too, your demons, your holy visions, don’t need to exist; you could no doubt account for them scientifically. The bombastic tendency of Western science is to pathologize, and thus to dismiss such things. But the question of what realities are possible should not just be answered by the measurable components of what already has been. Does maintaining the reality of your ghost hurt you or help you? Does a collective commitment to something mystical, outside “reason,” cause more harm than good? My bathroom ghost is a heuristic (again, not a metaphor) for considering what is desirable to allow in our worlds as opposed to that which we should explain away. Because even though I could explain him away, he will still come and scare me. So I might as well make epistemic room for him; it’s more interesting to do so.

—p.30 by Natasha Lennard 11 months, 3 weeks ago

In my web of belief, my bathroom ghost sits somewhere liminal; he’s not part of how I typically navigate the world, which requires constant banal prediction. That it remains there, however, is ethically important. Your ghosts, too, your demons, your holy visions, don’t need to exist; you could no doubt account for them scientifically. The bombastic tendency of Western science is to pathologize, and thus to dismiss such things. But the question of what realities are possible should not just be answered by the measurable components of what already has been. Does maintaining the reality of your ghost hurt you or help you? Does a collective commitment to something mystical, outside “reason,” cause more harm than good? My bathroom ghost is a heuristic (again, not a metaphor) for considering what is desirable to allow in our worlds as opposed to that which we should explain away. Because even though I could explain him away, he will still come and scare me. So I might as well make epistemic room for him; it’s more interesting to do so.

—p.30 by Natasha Lennard 11 months, 3 weeks ago
32

Derrida’s ghosts that put time out of joint shouldn’t be so strange to us digital denizens. We live with and through digital selves, and we are beyond the era in which online experiences and relations were deemed and experienced as “unreal.” We have normalized the fact of our enmeshed digital existences and expanded what we allow to be “real” selves, real experiences. How the internet functions is wholly explicable—there’s no spectral mystery as to how we integrate into net-works—but just how our phenomenology has accommodated them is a magic of sorts. It evidences our ability to relate in ways once deemed unreal. It took collective leaps of faith to see online avatars as aspects of people rather than simply pictures of them, to feel an iPhone as a bodily extension. “There you are!” I say as a friend goes green on Google Hangouts. We’ve shifted the possibilities of “there” and “where” a whole lot in recent decades. We don’t call digitally integrated life “mystical” or “paranormal”; tech companies would rather we simply call it “progress” and reap the profits for themselves.

Still, it took choice and a certain consensus (albeit hierarchically organized by Silicon Valley technocapital) to permit digital reality to become real. That choice was simultaneously one to introduce ambiguity into the real; otherwise, “IRL” would make no sense as a phrase. My ghost is possible by the same logic, although, to his credit, he will not find articulation through capitalist enterprise.

—p.32 by Natasha Lennard 11 months, 3 weeks ago

Derrida’s ghosts that put time out of joint shouldn’t be so strange to us digital denizens. We live with and through digital selves, and we are beyond the era in which online experiences and relations were deemed and experienced as “unreal.” We have normalized the fact of our enmeshed digital existences and expanded what we allow to be “real” selves, real experiences. How the internet functions is wholly explicable—there’s no spectral mystery as to how we integrate into net-works—but just how our phenomenology has accommodated them is a magic of sorts. It evidences our ability to relate in ways once deemed unreal. It took collective leaps of faith to see online avatars as aspects of people rather than simply pictures of them, to feel an iPhone as a bodily extension. “There you are!” I say as a friend goes green on Google Hangouts. We’ve shifted the possibilities of “there” and “where” a whole lot in recent decades. We don’t call digitally integrated life “mystical” or “paranormal”; tech companies would rather we simply call it “progress” and reap the profits for themselves.

Still, it took choice and a certain consensus (albeit hierarchically organized by Silicon Valley technocapital) to permit digital reality to become real. That choice was simultaneously one to introduce ambiguity into the real; otherwise, “IRL” would make no sense as a phrase. My ghost is possible by the same logic, although, to his credit, he will not find articulation through capitalist enterprise.

—p.32 by Natasha Lennard 11 months, 3 weeks ago